Labour plans to ‘simplify’ process to change gender

labour, labour plans to ‘simplify’ process to change gender

Anneliese Dodds said the plans would stop the ‘futile and dehumanising parts’ of changing gender (PA Archive)

Labour is set to make it easier to change gender by allowing a single family doctor to sign off on the decision under plans to “simplify” the process.

The policy would include scrapping a panel of doctors and lawyers that approve gender recognition certificates to stop the “futile and dehumanising parts” of changing gender.

A source said the party wanted to make the process “less medicalised” but added that the plans would retain the involvement of a doctor, as reported byThe Times.

Anneliese Dodds, the shadow women and equalities secretary, told the newspaper: “We want to see the process for gender recognition modernised, while protecting single sex spaces for biological women.

“This means stripping out the futile and dehumanising parts of the process for obtaining a gender ­recognition certificate, while retaining important safeguards.”

labour, labour plans to ‘simplify’ process to change gender
Labour is set to make it easier to change gender by allowing a single family doctor to sign off on the decision (PA Archive)

Labour said it had not yet been decided whether the medical professional would be a GP or a gender specialist, with the issue likely to go to consultation if the party wins the next election.

To obtain a gender recognition certificate currently someone has to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, have been living in their affirmed gender for two years and intend to live in that ­gender for the rest of their life.

Two medical reports are required, one of them from a specialist, and the application is then considered by a panel. Only 2 per cent of transgender people in the UK have a certificate.

Obtaining one allows people to update their birth certificate, get married or enter into a civil partnership in their affirmed gender, and have it on their death certificate.

In Scotland, proposals would have made it easier for a transgender person to obtain a certificate by removing the need for a medical diagnosis altogether. However, the reforms were blocked by the UK government.

labour, labour plans to ‘simplify’ process to change gender
Health secretary Victoria Atkins accused Labour of spending a decade trying to “shut women up” over transgender issues (PA Wire)

Last month, Tory health secretary Victoria Atkins accused Labour of spending a decade trying to “shut women up” over transgender issues and claimed they had created an “atmosphere of intimidation” around the topic.

She said: “Labour has spent the last 10 years trying to shut women up when it comes to this. They have been part of the ideology, the culture wars, creating an atmosphere of intimidation for anyone who dared to question this ideology.”

However, Wes Streeting’s shadow-cabinet colleague Louise Haigh rejected the claim that Labour had tried to shut down debate, saying there had been “bad faith” actors on all sides.

Ms Haigh said: “I don’t think that has been writ large in the Labour Party ... There have been bad-faith actors on all sides.”

Women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch told The Times: “There is no reason whatsoever to relax the safeguards that are in place. Labour should stop trying to weaponise this issue and allow professionals to do their job properly.”

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